It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, building muscle and adding strength and tone to your body can be an enlightening thing. You improve your appearance considerably as well as doing wonders for your overall health. Use the following tips to maximize your use of time and energy in building and conditioning your muscles.

Remember that muscles grow during periods of rest, if you are trying to build muscle. So, try limiting your weight training to 2 or 3 days per week with a day of rest in between. On the off days, you could concentrate on doing cardio exercises to give the muscles a break.

Don’t try to focus on both cardio and strength at the same time. This is not to say you should not perform cardiovascular exercises when you are attempting to build muscle. In fact, cardio is an important part of physical fitness. However, you should not heavily train cardio, such as preparing for a marathon, if you are trying to focus on building muscle. The two types of exercises can conflict, minimizing effectiveness on both fronts.

Have protein before starting a workout. Whether you have a sandwich with about 4 ounces of lunch meat, a protein bar or a shake, it’s important to remember that protein synthesis is what is important for building muscle. Have your protein about half an hour to an hour before starting a workout for best results.

Meat products are a good source of protein and help add muscle mass. By eating at least one gram of protein for each pound in your target weight you can hit the goal quickest. This will help you store more protein, and the more protein you have, the more your muscles will grow.

You want to keep pushing until your body reaches near failure. Failure is caused when your body will not allow you do go any further with your training because it is just too tired. When you start your session for the day, start heavy and lessen the amount of weight that you lift, so you can continue to lift even after your body is tired.

Consuming a protein shake after working out is very important. The protein shake gives you body the nutrients it needs to be able to rebuild muscle fibers and help your muscles to grow faster and stronger. Protein shakes should have a ratio of 2:1 of carbohydrates to protein in order for them to be as beneficial as possible.

Do not overwork your body. In order to build muscle mass, your body needs a chance to recuperate. When starting out, work your upper on one day, then work your lower body the next day. Take one day off each week where you do no workouts at all. This will make the workout less of a job.

Remember to go to the gym with a friend when you are working on building up your muscles. If you try to do so alone, it is possible that you put yourself into a difficult situation, especially when using free weights. This can lead to serious injuries or lesions.

A common mistake people make is consuming too much protein when starting their muscle building routine. Doing so can mean a boost in calories consumed, and if these are not getting burned off by the exercise, fat can start forming. Try increasing your protein slowly, a few hundred calories every few days, and your body will have a chance to turn it into muscle growth.

Know your limits, but don’t stop doing a particular exercise until you know you have nothing left. Once your are more able to recognize the limits of your muscles, try to work them to exhaustion. If you have to, shorten you sets when you start to become tired.

It is necessary to monitor your calories, if you want to build muscle. There are good and bad calories, so you must learn which are the healthiest foods for building muscle. An inappropriate diet will weigh you down with fat, not muscle.

If your training regimen has reached four days weekly, then try to avoid having more than one pair of consecutive down days. Your body will build and recover better with the down days spread out. If your life and schedule make this impossible, do not lose any sleep over it though, as you are still working out four days a week.

Testosterone

Try to workout for an hour, or less. The body begins to produce more cortisol, a stress hormone, after sixty minutes of working out. Extra cortisol may block testosterone and your efforts at muscle building can be wasted. This can be avoided by working out for no longer than 1 hour continually.

You need to eat healthy fats to build muscle. These fats help increase testosterone levels in your body; in addition, they also help lubricate your joints. This can be effective in gaining body muscle. Stay away from saturated fats because they are not healthy for you.

To build a muscular physique, keep stress in check. Men who are stressed may experience lower testosterone levels, and this hormone encourages muscle growth. In addition, stress increases cortisol levels, and this hormone actually inhibits muscle growth. Teach yourself some relaxation exercises and find other outlets for your stress, and you may reach your muscle-gaining goals even faster.

Don’t stop eating good fats when lifting weights. There are a variety of good fats that help promote healthy muscle growth. If your diet does not contain enough of these fats, then you will not get the muscle growth you are aiming for. Studies have shown that there is a relationship between testosterone and fat levels, which is an added incentive for eating good fats!

Hopefully the tips you have read in this article can add to your muscle building arsenal and help you to reach your fitness goals. It’s important to condition your body for a number of reasons and doing so will add health and vitality to your life for years to come.